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Siegfried Line 1944-45: Battles on the German Frontier (Campaign) [Kindle Edition]

Steven Zaloga , Steve Noon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Siegfried Line campaign was one of the most frustrating and bloody series of battles fought by the US Army in Northwest Europe during World War II (1939-1945).

In order to break through the German-Belgian border north of the Ardennes and eventually reach the Rhine, the First and Ninth divisions of the US Army dispersed themselves along the German Siegfried Line.

The campaign kicked off in earnest in late September with the encirclement and eventual capture of Aachen, the first major German city to fall to the Allies. The paths to the Roer included not only the heavily urbanized area northeast of this city, but also the Hurtgen Forest along its southeastern flank. While a costly battle to seize the city continued throughout October, fighting also began in the forested area with initial attacks towards Schmidt.

The German offensive to the south in the Ardennes derailed the Siegfried campaign for nearly two months and proved to be extremely costly. However, with Operation Grenade in February 1945, Ninth Army were finally propelled over the Roer River and were able to seize the vital Roer dams.

Providing extensive coverage of the battle for Aachen and the fighting that ensued in the Hurtgen Forest, this title brings to life the Siegfried Line campaign which witnessed the US Army's most bitter fighting and set the stage for the final assault on the Rhine, leading the way into the heart of Germany.

Editorial Reviews


" well written and quite thought-provoking for those interested in the potential of a fortified line." -Coastal Defense Journal

"A specific, important title military collections will relish." -California Bookwatch (July 2007)

"Steven J. Zaloga is well known by both historians and modelers alike for his well-researched books and articles. This is one of his better books; his writing style well-honed and quite readable. The book is further enhanced by quality period photos and the superb illustrations and maps of Steve Noon. His portrayals of action events really shows what it was like to be fighting in this portion of the conflict. It is another superb Osprey title of an important WWII campaign. Like all Osprey titles, it is one that you can buy with confidence that you are getting the best." -Scott Van Aken,

About the Author

Steven J. Zaloga was born in 1952, received his BA in history from Union College, and his MA from Columbia University. He has published numerous books and articles dealing with modern military technology, especially armoured vehicle development. His main area of interest is military affairs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in World War II, and he has also written extensively on American armoured forces. The author lives in Maryland, USA.

Product Details

  • File Size: 9279 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (February 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AGV88SY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,224 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Campaign Summary May 5, 2007
Steven J Zaloga's The Siegfried Line Campaign 1944-45, number 181 in Osprey's Campaign series, provides another interesting chapter in his coverage of Western Front battles in the Second World War. This volume primarily covers the U.S. 1st Army's initial efforts to crack the German Westwall defenses in the fall of 1944, resulting in the Battles of Aachen and the Hurtgen Forrest, two actions that were painful attritional slugfests for both sides. Zaloga's narrative is crisp, clean and informative as usual, resulting in another solid campaign summary. This volume nicely complements earlier Osprey volumes on the Lorraine Campaign and the Rhineland, and should be very useful for readers seeking an explanation of events in this area prior to the Battle of the Bulge.

The introductory sections are a bit briefer than usual, probably because this is fairly well covered ground. The exception is the section on Opposing Armies - always a strong point in Zaloga's volumes - and he spells out why U.S. advantages in artillery and air support were reduced by logistic shortages, terrain and weather in the fall of 1944. Field Marshal Model's ability to cobble together a coherent defense of the German border from units shattered in the fighting in France is also nicely presented. For example, there is a photo of a former German S-Boat sailor pressed into infantry service and some discussion of the extreme methods used to cull replacements for the front-line from every nook and cranny of the Third Reich. Also pertinent is General Eisenhower's decision to keep the pressure on the weakened Wehrmacht by a series of limited offensives. The first major narrative piece deals with the U.S. 1st Army efforts to encircle and capture the city of Aachen. Although the U.S.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Quick Notes for the U.S. Army Campaign July 14, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As the U.S. Army defines the Siegfried Line, Zaloga and Osprey have done an excellent job of boiling down the essence into less than 100 pages. I consider it a good addition to the Osprey Library and to my own.

Certainly the 600+ page official Army history of this campaign, "United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations - The Siegfried Line Campaign" by Charles B. MacDonald, is a more in-depth and definitive study (available used and new from the U.S. Government Printing Office). However, that said, Zaloga has produced an excellent Cliff Notes version of the official history. In typical Osprey Fashion, the book has excellent illustrations, maps, and photographs. There is even a photo of Kesternich that others and I have tried to pry from the hands of NARA and have failed, once again, many kudos on the photos!

I take exception to the comment that the book is all about Aachen. It is not. I covers the "official" designation of the campaign quite well. Perhaps others will be disappointed that it does not spend more time of the German Westwall fortifications. (See Osprey's "Germany's West Wall - The Siegfried Line for details on the construction of the fortifications themselves.) Or, perhaps it is felt by some that all the combat along the Siegfried Line, which stretched from Nijmegen in the Netherlands to Basil in Switzerland, was not portrayed. However, Zaloga has stayed within the bounds of the "official" U.S. Army History and has written a very creditable account.

Perhaps Osprey's "The Rhineland" by Ken Ford would satisfy those with a desire for a greater scope of the fighting along the German Western Frontier.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Siegrried Line June 9, 2007
After being part of this campaign, I found this book, very interesting and accurate, a must for History Buffs or someone that was there, its like a Diary of those dark days.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the Siegfried Line in here? June 17, 2007
I picked up this book because I have a great interest in the battles that took place in the Hurtgenwald and along the Siegfried Line. This time though I was a little disappointed in the work. Why you ask. Well, Mr. Zaloga did a little deception on us. Rather than telling us about the battles for the Siegfried Line (I was hoping for the battles all along the front honestly), Mr. Zaloga focused on the battles for Aachen and the towns surrounding Aachen. The chapters follow the traditional Osprey Campaign format. What I should have looked at though was the section titled The Campaign. In there, Mr. Zaloga tells us what his focus was; The First Battle of Aachen, North of Aachen, Encircling Aachen, the Second Battle of Aachen, Prelude to Operation Queen (really this was the 28th ID's battle for Schmidt, covered very nicely in Follow Me And Die), Operation Queen, Operation Clipper, and Operation Queen: the December Cleanup. Incase you couldn't tell, focus was on the taking of Aachen rather than on the Siegfried Line.

Ok, I've complained enough about how this book should have been labeled the Aachen Campaign. As always, Osprey has great photographs and drawings. I've questioned several of the labels on the pictures (I've seen then labeled differently in other books), specifically the tank destroyers on page 68, but who knows, I can't make out the markings and I wasn't there. For the different sections, Mr. Zagola's strongest were dealing with Operations Queen and Clipper. I was highly disappointed in his section on the 28th ID. He failed to mention Lt. Fleig, the conditions labored under, or how 5th Corp directed the attack to occur. I also found his description on the battles for Aachen to be weak.
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More About the Author

Steven Zaloga is a senior analyst for Teal Group Corp., an aerospace consulting firm. His professional specialization is the commercial and technological aspects of the international trade in missiles, precision guided munitions, and unmanned aerial vehicles. He also serves as an adjunct staff member with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think-tank.

Mr. Zaloga has published numerous books and articles on military technology and military history. His books have been translated into Japanese, German, Polish, Czech, Romanian, and Russian. He has been a special correspondent for "Jane's Intelligence Review" and is on the executive board of the "Journal of Slavic Military Studies". From 1987 through 1992, he was the writer/director for Video Ordnance Inc., preparing their TV series "Firepower" that aired on The Discovery Channel in the US.

Mr. Zaloga was born in 1952 and received his BA in history from Union College, Schenectady, NY. He received an MA in history from Columbia University specializing in modern East European history, and did graduate research and language study at Uniwersitet Jagiellonski in Krakow, Poland.


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